Congrats to Rand & Geraldine

I remember thinking to myself that the MySuperProposal.com’s mystery “JP” sounded a whole lot like Rand Fishkin. I brushed it off, thinking I was just too wrapped up in the SEM world.

Well, knock me down with a feather, JP is indeed Rand and he proposed to the lovely Geraldine, during her favorite TV show – Veronica Mars.

You can see video of Rand’s proposal here.

Even better than the proposal, is the video of Geraldine watching the commercial and her reaction. A guy couldn’t ask for a better response.

I’ve had the privilege to meet Geraldine aka “Mystery Guest” and when you watch her and Rand together, you know they were meant to be together.

Congrats to you both!

66% of Internet users viewed online video; Wal-Mart joins the fray

Advertising.com has released a study that indicates that 66% of Internet users age 18 and up surveyed viewed online video content at least once a week. Advertising.com divided their results into two age demographics: 18 to 34 and 35 and up.

Key findings for each demographic included:

  • 18 to 34

    • 44% of online video viewers fell into this age group.
    • Most popular video-related activities: watching TV episodes online, creating videos and forwarding clips to friends.
    • Prefers streaming entertainment (music videos, TV shows, movie trailers).
  • 35 and up
    • A whopping 56% of online video viewers were age 35 or over.
    • More likely to stream news and sports clips.

The Last Word on Link Buying

V7N’s Contextual Links offering received a lot of online coverage and comments, first here on Marketing Pilgrim, then at Search Engine Journal and Matt Cutts’s blog.

The debate may rage on over the “ethical” nature of paid links. A more important subtext to that debate is the overall effectiveness of link buying as a strategy to improve search engine rankings. But now the ultimate link authority, Eric Ward, has spoken.

Eric has written a short-but-sweet article in today’s Web Marketing Today called “The Pros and Cons of Buying Links.” Eric warns against buying links to improve search rank, whether they’re “undetectable” or not. He offers three basic rules for link buying:

Google Willing to Share Just a Little More Link Data

There’s a reason for search marketers to smile today – Google has added backlink details to Webmaster Central.

Now, before everyone runs off and pops the top off a bottle of champagne, Matt Cutts would like you to know about a certain caveat to the new tool.

Do not assume just because you see a backlink that it’s carrying weight. I’m going to say that again: Do not assume just because you see a backlink that it’s carrying weight. Sometime in the next year, someone will say “But I saw an insert-link-fad-here backlink show up in Google’s backlink tool, so it must count. Right?” And then I’ll point them back here, where I say do not assume just because you see a backlink that it’s carrying weight.

YouTube’s Achilles Heel? Users Can’t Be Trusted to Self-Police

I just read an interesting MarketWatch piece on the issues Google faces with the policing of copyrighted content on YouTube. Because YouTube allows videos to be uploaded, without first being screened or approved, it’s very easy for a pulled clip to be replaced within minutes.

“It’s now a game of whack-a-mole,” said John Palfrey, a Harvard law school professor, and executive director of the school’s Berkman Center For Internet & Society.

I’m jealous that Palfrey was given the opportunity to provide MarketWatch with such a cool sound-bite, but it certainly sums-up the game YouTube is playing, perfectly. By relying on the community to flag inappropriate content and copyrighted material, YouTube is hoping to avoid the additional expense – that would surely cripple any profitability the company may have – that would come from having to screen videos before publishing them. While it’s a nice to think your viewers are noble enough to shop anyone uploading copyrighted content, it’s just not going to happen.

Online Fastest Growing Advertising Medium

Outsell, Inc. has released a report that seems to indicate that we are reaching the end of an era: they project broadcast and print ad spending will decrease in 2007. Key findings of their survey of 1010 advertising professionals include:

  • Online spending growing the fastest: companies plan to increase online spending by 18% this year as online advertising’s market share increases to 20% of advertising spend.
  • Advertisers perceive online advertising as “very effective” for branding, a reversal of their “conventional wisdom.”
  • Search marketing is the fastest growing online medium: advertisers plan to increase search engine advertising spend by 39% (though Outsell didn’t indicate whether this was SEO, PPC or both in its press release).
  • PPC ads’ market share will actually decrease 1% this year; other online media will grow (CPA ads: 8%; “online sponsorships” 12%).

Blogging for Beer Money

The Christian Science Monitor looks at how ad platforms, such as Google’s AdSense, are helping the average blogger make a little extra cash.

“People can participate in the economy in ways that were once unimaginable. Not just moonlighting, but serious money,” says Mr. Tapscott. In the past, writers, musicians, and videomakers needed to prove themselves as “home-run hitters” in order to get distributed and earn significant money. “Now, bunters and single-hitters have a chance to make a living,” he says.

While very few can quit their day job and live off the money they make from blogging, many avid bloggers are finding their passion might just provide something more than just satisfaction in having their voice heard.